Air source heat pumps: Busting the myths

Air source heat pumps (ASHP) have exploded onto the eco heating scene over recent years. Similar in technology to other types of heat pumps, these products require no digging, no water source and can be fitted to pretty much any home. Despite their rise in popularity, we often hear objections to this technology, many of which are simply not true.
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Likened once to a ‘refrigerator running backwards’ (now that sounds expensive, doesn’t it?) understanding the technology behind ASHP can help you make a more informed decision about the right technology for you. Here are four of the most common myths about air source heat pumps, and the reasons why you shouldn’t believe them.

They’re horribly noisy

Back when heat pumps were first introduced, the noise from the external unit was somewhat significant. In terms of noise level, they reached around 76 dB, which to put in context is similar to traffic driving past or an alarm clock going off. It’s no wonder then that, for some people, they’ve garnered a reputation for noise.

However, modern heat pumps are designed to work much more quietly. Typical noise outputs from the external unit are in the region of 40 – 50 dB, which is quieter than your dishwasher and the sound of the rain. Also remember that this unit will be on the outside of your home, so it’s unlikely you’ll hear anything when you’re inside at all.

They only work when the weather is warm.

Air source heat pumps work by taking the heat out of the outside air and boosting it to a higher temperature using a compressor. It’s understandable to be concerned about the cold weather and confused as to whether your heat pump will still work. The good news is, it will, and very well too.
Air source heat pumps Heat pumps have been tested to function effectively at temperatures as low as minus 20. Here in the UK, temperatures rarely plunge that low, so although your heat pump might have to work a little harder in cold temperatures, you can be confident that it will still produce heat for you and your family.

They’re very expensive

An investment in a heat pump is not insignificant, however, it’s important to remember that this is a replacement for your boiler, and if you were buying a new boiler, that too would also be a substantial investment.

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In terms of savings, figures published by the Energy Saving Trust suggest that, depending on what fuel type the heat pump is replacing, could save you from £300 to £1,090 per year. In addition to this, there is a Government incentive called the “Renewable Heat Incentive” (RHI). This incentive would pay you up to £12,400 over the next seven years. The payment is also index linked meaning it will also rise with inflation over that period, making heat pumps, as an investment, much more attractive.

They only work with underfloor heating

Heat pumps have gained a reputation for working best with underfloor heating, due to the fact the heat output is a little lower than that of a conventional heating system. Whilst they certainly work well with underfloor heating, you are not constrained by this in any way, and can absolutely choose to connect your ASHP to a typical radiator system in your home.

We do recommend that your home has a decent amount of insulated before investing in a heat pump, so that you can keep in all that low carbon heat you’re generating. In some situations, it could be beneficial to increase the size of your radiators to ensure a good heat output, but if you don’t have the wall space, there are specialist low flow radiators that will ensure you’re as warm as toast.


So, there you have it,

four of the most popular myths surrounding air source heat pumps busted just for you! For more information and to find out if you qualify, simply complete the details below:

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